Sermon: The Longest Night

prison-bars-with-candle(EDITOR’S NOTE: What follows is a sermon for December 21st, the longest night of the year. On this night many churches have a “Longest Night” service for those who are struggling to find joy this Christmas, often due to grief. This sermon was shared at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Richmond Virginia, in 2017.)

“The Longest Night”

A Sermon by Matthew B. Harper

The longest night of the year. A time when darkness comes early and stays late, when night feels unexpected and interminable. Tonight we gather to acknowledge that darkness, and to dwell in it quietly; we know it exists, and it’s okay that it does. “Merry Christmas” may not feel all that ‘Merry,’ but it is Christmas and we know the light of dawn is just over the horizon.
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Poem: “Jesus’ Birth”

by Timothy J. Donovan

“Jesus’ Birth”
Holy child of virgin birth,
born to bring salvation to this earth.

Down from heaven you did come,
so that your Father’s will is done.

Not to bring peace, but the sword,
to separate your own from the horde.

Capstone of God’s glorious plan,
to bring redemption for every man.

Lying in a manger with your star overhead,
destined to die and be raised from the dead.

To fulfill the promise you’ll be hung on a tree,
becoming a curse to set men free.